The black eel writhed in its wreath of blue flames, and I knew I had to re-schedule the rest of my life.
The old king had died and his Charge had chosen me. Randomly, as far as I could tell.
Certainly I could think of half a dozen better people to be In Charge than me. But the eels don’t change their minds. They can’t be reasoned with, either, or moved or avoided, unless you count suicide as an option. The only thing eels do is kill you if you don’t build black pyramids for them, and kill anyone who disobeys or tries to stop you.
I spent some time swearing. Staring at the wall. Even a little crying. Hell, a lot. I can admit that, right? It’s not as if I have to care what anyone thinks of me any more.
But you can’t fight being In Charge. Eventually I stopped stalling and walked out of my house and ordered the first person I saw to fetch the robes and scepter from the last king.
Now I’m sitting on my lawn, waiting for the general and the prime minister to get over here and abase themselves before me. I really hope I won’t have to kill anyone. If the rest of my life isn’t very short, it’s going to be very, very long.